We almost had to build an ark this week. ♂️
But before that happened, we finished up our time in North Little Rock on Tuesday. Elder Shelley instructed district meeting again and we played a game of "Heads Up" that was pretty fun. Afterwards, we got free Jimmy John's again, and then Elder Evans, Shelley, and I went across the street to Paul Mitchell for free haircuts. Mine was... Good. Until my neck, I think she forgot to square the neckline or something, so it's not too great. But everything else still looks like signature Oliver Dahl.
We had dinner with the Baird's that night, one of the office couples. I haven't been around the senior couples my whole mission as much as I have this transfer. They're awesome. Definitely sending them wedding announcements.
Went with the Office Elders and dropped some furniture off in a storage facility, and then went home and prank called some other missionaries, which was fun.
The next morning, we drove back to Conway for our district meeting, and that's when we got the first flash flood warning alert.
So naturally, we decided to go out in the boonies of our area. Stopped at a sketchy trailer that had a former investigator in it. Lights on but no answer. With places like this out in the middle of nowhere, the psycho in me wonders if the inhabitants have actually been dead for 3 weeks, but nobody in the world would even know otherwise. I'm sure they're fine. (*Gulp*)
The roads on the way back were just starting to have the water in the canals off to the sides breach in some places, but we made it home safe without hydroplaning once!
The next day, a member took us to Umami's, a fancy looking Chinese restaurant that is now up there with Tacos 4 Life on my list of favorite places to eat in Conway. Went back and visited a guy who said we could come back a few weeks ago. He's not a member of the church, but I guess 10-15 years ago, he helped out the missionaries a ton, even driving them back and forth between here and Memphis for transfers. He's read the Book of Mormon and heard it all. His main excuse seemed to be that he was too old to change what he grew up with. The whole point of life is changing, though. Incredibly nice guy, but also kinda sad.
For our dinner hour, I took a nap instead of eating cause I was still full from Umami's. That was a good choice.
We had our Book of Mormon class after that, and while looking over my notes for the 2nd chapter of the whole book, found stuff that I don't remember writing, about how the plan of salvation is embedded in the last few verses. I'll leave y'all to figure it out, how. (As a hint, Laman and Lemuel are 2/6 or 1/3 of the family. Kinda remind you of how one third of the hosts of heaven rebelled, too...?)
The next morning, President Hansen called about transfers.
Like we supposed, Elder Evans is leaving Conway, and the Conway Zone is getting dissolved, and merged into the neighboring Russellville Zone. They're the 2 smallest zones in the mission, and President had hinted at merging zones, so it wasn't a surprise. But! Instead of me staying in Conway... our Zone Leader area is getting whitewashed. (Both of us leave and two new missionaries come in. Yikes.) I'm headed to continue being a Zone Leader in Searcy, not too far away from where I am already. But I'm gonna miss Conway! Especially since this week (and this day in particular) as bumping.
After that call from President, we had 4 teaching appointments through the rest of the day. 2 second lessons with investigators who feel like friends, now. Just super cool, open minded people who are down to earth, funny, and so kind. Gonna miss those two. Had Little Caesar's for dinner, a new member lesson with Prashanth, and then read a chapter out of the Book of Mormon with a less active guy.
Prashanth was talking about how much better his life is without smoking and alcohol, and Elder Evans added "and you're saving money, too!" as a potential benefit. After some hesitation, Prashanth responded, "No... not really. Now I just spend it all on ice cream." Which was even funnier than it usually would be because of his Indian accent.
So yeah. Friday was a really good but really sad day. Lots of good, made sad cause we are leaving these guys! I was expecting at least 6 more weeks here, but both of us are heading out. :/
On Saturday, the office elders came and picked up Elder Shelley, concluding our 2 week trio adventures. Gonna miss that goofy guy.
We went over and gave a member's son a blessing in the hospital that morning, and then had a crepe lunch at the Routt's. Left to try some people and got flash flood warning number 2 and number 3. It was funny trying to visit people cause they open their trailer door or whatever and it's just dumping buckets and we're soaked and shouting over the sound of it all, asking if there's a good time we can come back.
So yeah that wasn't super productive. But then we got a call from a member in the other ward asking if we could help with sandbags in a neighborhood that's flooding. So we changed and drove up there. A lady pointed us over to someone's covered patio, where a command station had been set up over their table, with maps, radios, and weather alerts. They got our names and after a few minutes gave us an assignment. The grass was muddy, but that was about it.
And then we got in the little 4 wheeler thing, and the sisters joined us. We drove just down the road and whoa. It was a different scene. 1 or 2 big trees had fallen over at the roots, and a lake was inching itself up to someone's backyard before our eyes. We unloaded sandbags from a big jeep truck thing, and then moved them around the house, on top of some plastic sheets, which we then folded over the sandbags. It's an art form I can now consider myself aquainted with, getting them to overlap and stack just right. After doing it so long, my rain jacket came off and we just hucked the sandbags in t shirts, letting ourselves get drenched and sandy.
I talked with the homeowner for just a little bit in the chain gang passing of heavy sandbags. He said he had only lived there for barely a year, and this was the second time he was having to do this. Yikes!
We helped out there for like 2 hours, sometimes just the 4 of us, and towards the end about 8 or 9 people. We completely surrounded the house. The rain thankfully stopped at the end, there. Cause earlier it had been raining harder thsn the fastest windshield wipers setting could keep up with. Seriously. (I know my emails are known for hyperbolizing, but this one's for real.)
We left as our ward chili cook off was starting, and decided to just go in our service clothes. I was a mess, and had water in my shoes and socks. I fared a lot better at this chili cook off, cause I limited myself to two bowls and no peanut butter chili was involved. :)
Got home and took a hot shower and then went to bed and woke up sick. :-)
Okay, not too sick. Just a runny nose that got progressively worse throughout the day. It looked like I was crying by the time we were taking goodbye pictures with the Routt's for their son, Evan's birthday. But after a good night of sleep last night and my last David's Burger for a while, I'm feeling a lot better now. Although the sickness has mostly faded away, my sore shoulders, back, and arms have not yet recovered haha.
I've only been in Conway half the time I was in Collierville. So it's a little bit of an easier goodbye, but I will miss the work here and the people we were teaching! I hope they are still as receptive to new faces!
So anyway, it's been a crazy week. Left North Little Rock, got a haircut, worked in Conway, taught a bunch of people, [presumably] saved a house from getting flooded [worse than it would have without us, probably?] and got the news that Elder Evans and I are headed out of Conway! Craziness.
Stay dry! Read the Book of Mormon! Be the best you and embrace all truth!
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Serving A Mission!
What's all this about? As a member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints, it is expected of me that I will serve a two-year mission. (And yeah, the "riding bikes and wearing nametags and knocking on doors" kind of mission.) But this isn't something I'm doing because it's expected of me... I'm doing this because the Restored Gospel of Jesus Christ has blessed my life SO much, in SO many ways. I can't think of a greater honor or responsibility than being able to play a part in someone's story of finding and enjoying these blessings, too.
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Elder Oliver Wrigley Dahl
Arkansas Little Rock Mission
905 Kierre Dr
North Little Rock AR 72116